The EU invests EUR 100 million in strengthening trans-national cooperation in the the Adriatic Ionian Region

The European Commission has adopted the new transnational cooperation programme “Interreg V B Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION)”. The programme is worth mora than EUR 83.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and almost EUR 16 million from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II). The total value of the cooperation programme, with national contributions included, is EUR 118 million.

The Programme will support the implementation of the priorities of the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR). It will enhance economic, social, and territorial cohesion in the region. The programme’s geographical area is identical to the area covered by the EUSAIR, involving four EU countries (Greece, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia), with the participation of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

The programme “Interreg V B Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION)” will focus on four main priorities:

1) Better cooperation between businesses and research and education institutions, for an innovative and smart region;

2) Greater sustainability, with the preservation of natural and cultural assets in the region;

3) Greater connectivity in the region;

4) Support to the governance of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.

Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: “This programme has been designed to directly contribute to the successful implementation of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, exploiting and protecting the rich natural, cultural and human potential of the region. It will have a tangible and positive impact on the regional economy, with a special focus on enhanced innovation and research capacities.”

In addition, the programme will boost the region’s capacity to protect its natural assets. Thanks to the programme, the Adriatic and Ionian area will also benefit from a more integrated transport and mobility system. Finally, strengthening administrative capacity in the region is also one of the focuses of the programme.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by reducing imbalances between its regions. The ERDF will invest more than 199 billion euro in the regions of Europe throughout 2014-2020.

The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) gives financial and technical help to support reforms in the accession countries. The IPA funds build up the capacities of those countries, resulting in progressive, positive developments in the region. For the period 2014-2020, IPA has a budget of some EUR 11.7 billion.